Are the “cards stacked against me” becuse i live in the Philippines?
I had a really interesting email this morning. A lady from another Asian country saw a comment I made on a fellow blogger’s site and she wrote to tell me how she felt that, essentially, the cards are stacked against bloggers and ecommerce site owners operating in Asia.
The Cards Are Stacked Against Me Because I Live in the Philippines?
Frankly, I couldn’t disagree more with her on this subject. One of the beauties of the Internet lifestyle is, to me, that you can plunk me down in any location on earth with an Internet connection and my chances for making money is as good as anywhere else.
A truly level playing field in other words, regardless of location, nationality, age, gender, skin color or amount of money in the bank.
Everyone loves to TALK about equality, but how many of you are actually aware that a pretty good version o fit exists, right now, today?
This is how I responded to the reader, Connie:
Thanks for writing. Interesting to hear from you. Took a look at your site and wow. Very professional business you seem to have set up there.
Here are some of your questions and my answers to them:
” … A small online store owner looking for ways to make passive income. …)
I think my first response to this would be, why only a small online store owner? You seem to have everything in place to sell many many things, and world-wide too for any items that are easy to ship.
Well to me that is a term that became popular with Internet Marketers that just isn’t true. The only truly “passive income” I know of is buying investment grade bonds and waiting for them to mature. And with interest rates the way they are, and government currency crises everywhere we look, you know what with the high dollar amounts and high risks involved, forget about that for the average person today, IMO.
I think online merchandising of your own, or other people’s products are the only, long-term way to grow your income … But ‘passive’? Nope, no way, it’s work ma’am, good old solid day after day work.
“…I’m amazed that you are living and earning from PH. …”
Well actually I didn’t say that.
I am an American, I live in the Philippines for two main reasons.
- It is the homeland of my wife and have a lot of family and friends here, and …
- I can escape paying a ton of US taxes by living abroad.
BUT I make no money from the Philippines. Most of my money comes from US sources and a little from British, Canadian, and Australian sources.
I DO have a US bank account, but I know of no reason I would need one for my online business ventures. I certainly make no effort to hide the fact that I live in the Philippines.
I DO have both a US and a Philippine PayPal account. I pay PayPal’s small service fees to handle my credit card transactions, so people can pay me with major credit cards anywhere in the world.
If I had more volume using credit cards there are other Merchant Account services that work here in the Philippines.
I operate as a sole proprietor, strictly in my own name. If I wanted, however, to have a US corporation to serve as owner of my business, I could from one, online, in an hour or two. There is no requirement that I live in the USA to form a business there. Matter of fact when you organize a LLC or other corporation you are usually offered the option od paying a small fee for a offical agent in the state you use for registration. Again, what’s the problem with living in the Philippines.
I may be naive, but I don’t know anything I could do online if I lived in the USA than I can’t do online when I live in the Philippines.
Mainly for personal tax reasons, (an expat doesn’t have to pay Philippine income taxes on money earned from outside the Philippines) and to avoid even the appearance of having a business in the Philippines, I just avoid earning any money from Philippine sources, period.
It’s not a hardship, there are more than 200 other countries in the world, and everyone’s cash spends just fine for me,.
My message to my readers always is, live where you want BUT you don’t have to make money FROM where you live.
“…Meaning like Amazon, I must have US bank account …”.
I was not aware of that requirement. In fact I don’t think that is true. Amazon has affiliates all over the world. It’s hard to open a bank account in the USA if you don’t live there … but I don’t see why you would need one.
I have a US Amazon account which _is_ tied to my US bank account, but I also have a separate Philippines Amazon account which is _not_ connected to my US bank. Living in a very advanced country as you do, I don’t see any problems you should have.
I am not doing business selling Amazon products at this moment, but one of my goals is to get beck into Amazon this year.
I believe the growth potential is high. And an important marketing trend is, up until 2012, the usual ecommerce pattern was someone searched for a product on Google and if they found out about it and landed on your site, you could “pre-sell” them and send them to Amazon via an affiliate link.
Well that seems to be changing. More and more smart consumers just search first via Amazon … Amazon is now cutting deeply into Google’s share of search traffic and I expect that to continue to grow.
The idea of trying to sell Amazon products from just a banner ad or a catalog type page I do not think will work well for the future.
I believe you have to focus on products you understand well and that you can get you hands on and experience and then write personal, in-depth reviews and offer you readers information over and above what they can already read on Amazon’s catalog pages.
Otherwise, why would anyone come to a “me too” catalog sales site?
“…most money making info I read applies to outside Asia …”
Truly I have to say I disagree with that statement. Being located in Asia, no matter what your nationality and heritage, only holds you back if you, yourself decide to let it hold you back.
Why would anyone you are trying to sell to even have to know you are Asian, or located in Asia?
The Internet thrives because online, everyone is equal.
Country, skin color, age, income, marital status, etc., all those are basically no one else’s business unless there is a reason to disclose them. I know of very little in the realm of making money legitimately online.
I’m open to being corrected on this, but it’s certainly the opinion I hold now.
This is already getting long, but I’ll have to tell you one funny story that illustrates this location independence and mindset thing well.
Poor Me I Live in xxxxx, Therefore I Can’t Succeed
I have two US friends here in the Philippines who operate a call center/business processing company.
Another fellow who comes from New Zealand wrote to my US friends here in the Philippines (not knowing they were in the Philippines, just knowing they were Americans) and said “Oh you are so lucky, I can’t do business like you because I come from such a tiny, remote country like New Zealand”. Huh”!?
This New Zealand fellow had limited himself in his own mind, automatically thinking he couldn’t do business because of his location, when the Americans he was talking to were living (out in the provinces too) of what people think of as a “developing” or “third-world” nation. It was all in his mind
And a note to my Kiwi readers, it was the Kiwi who bad-mouthed his own country, certainly not me.
Where You Live Is Just a “Place”
My friends living in the Philippines just do not let their geographic location limit them. In fact their capability for making money was actually enhanced by being in the Philippines, one of the reasons they chose to move here from the USA.
Where you live does not matter, Connie.
Your location does not at all define your potential. Only a person can hold you back, and that person who can hold you hack is the one you see in the mirror every time you check your jewelry and makeup before going out. Godspeed and write back any time. I’ll still be here, and I’ll still live in the Philippines, but earn from the world.